Wuxiaworld > Empire of the Ring > 111 The Information Agency 1

111 The Information Agency 1

"Where is it again?" Youngho looked at Eriksson after hearing what he said. "It's Grozny in Chechnya." Chechnya was a risky place where Youngho might have been exposed. He did not receive any information about the Black Widows after their attack on the pipeline, whether they were all killed on the spot or some of them were captured and tortured were unknown. Since he was related to the Black Widows, the Chechen government might be watching out for Asians to find the agent who helped the rebels. Although he used a Korean passport when he visited Chechnya, he was still worried since there were young members of the Black Widows who saw Youngho when he met Basayev. He could use an American passport but Russian authorities were always skeptical of Americans going in Chechnya. It would be nice if he had Russian passports but he was not fluent in Russian either. When Youngho told Eriksson that his identity might have been exposed to the Chechen government, Eriksson looked him as if it was nothing. "Mr. Lee, if you pick any county, I can make you any passport you want. Under your circumstances, I'd recommend the United Kingdom." It was surprising to find out about one of the capabilities of the information agency, they could make any kinds of passport like Sergey. It made Youngho wonder what kind of organization was behind their agency. "Mr. Eriksson, what's in Chechnya that someone like you are going in by yourself?" "I'm going to meet the Black Widows." It was even more jaw-dropping when he said 'the Black Widows'. "You must be talking about the new Black Widows. May I ask what you want to find out from them?" "As you already know, I recently learned that they're planning to bomb the pipeline again, I'm just going to confirm the time of their bombing attack. It's something that would hugely affect the oil prices of the world." The information agency was not trying to stop their terror attack but wanted to confirm the information. Since they were only after money, they would be selling the information to oil corporations. "You're telling me that even though you know that the CIA will try to stop the attack. Does this mean that you don't care about exposing the information in advance?" "What we're interested in is whether the terror will happen or not, we really don't care about what the CIA will do upon that. Of course, you'd have to stop the terror attack but do you have any idea how many times terror attacks have been prevented around the world even though they were predicted in advance?" Eriksson made Youngho lose his words. *** It was a week after Youngho and Erikson parted in Frankfurt when Eriksson showed up at Baku's Aliyev Airport. Eriksson brought British passports for Youngho and even for Jongil, since it was a dangerous mission that needed a backup agent. Even the European chapter had no idea about it except for Michael. To Jongil, Youngho just told him that some American international corporation asked for a team of bodyguards in Chechnya. Of course, Jongil was excited to take the job since he could get away from the farm for a while. Although he was going to be a dad soon, he did not care about the risks of missions at all. There were people who could take care of Karajan on the farm and he was carefree. From Baku Station, the three guys went on a train to get to Grozny. Youngho shaved off his mustache that he had been growing for a long time and he looked like a totally different person. The photo of his passport also had no mustache. The whole company looked like a gang of young men going on a backpacking trip. In case they needed the information, Youngho and Jongil studied about England's famous streets, restaurants, schools, and maps. Although people could easily find out if they investigated the two, they prepared enough to be able to act like British. Jongil's friendliness made Eriksson laugh although he has always maintained a poker face. There was nothing for young men to do on the train except for drinking beer or playing cards. The three men took over a four-people sleeping compartment of the train and they played cards absorbedly. They betted little cash and it made the game even interesting. Eriksson, whose ten dollar bills were almost gone by now, became competitive. His eyes had turned red when they were done. *** After arriving at the Grozny Station, they went directly to their lodging and unpacked their stuff. Their room was a four-people capacity and because they arrived in the late evening, they shared the room with a young Russian man. He was a friendly guy. Since they did not have any schedule the next day, the four of them toured around the downtown. Having him in the company was helpful since many Chechens speak Russian fluently. Because of him, the gang did not look suspicious. There were lots of backpackers in Grozny since the city was known to be one of the safest cities around the Caucasus regions. Since Sochi Winter Olympics was successfully held, there were lots of people visiting Russia, and countries nearby also benefited in that. Known as Russia's satellite state, Chechnya was crowded by young travelers who wanted to see its blessed natural sceneries. The fact that Chechnya's summer was not too hot was a plus for travelers. Since Youngho and Jongil's job was to guard Eriksson, they were not too tired by the job. In fact, they enjoyed traveling around. Eriksson's active time was in the evening time. Every night, he met some unknown guys at a café near their lodging place and drank with them, it seemed that there were people working for Eriksson in Grozny too. It took time until Eriksson was able to reach a member of the Black Widows since all of the rebels were loyal to their organization. They had no reason to betray their organization that they had been serving at the risk of their lives. After a few days, Eriksson could finally get a hold of one of the leaders of the Black Widows. The time and the location of the meeting were set but the problem was that the location was not in Grozny. Outside of Grozny, Eriksson's safety could not be guaranteed. Often times, travelers who went to other cities in Chechnya were abducted by rebels for ransom in exchange for their lives. Among all of the places, the Black Widows chose Karabulak in the Northwest of Grozny. Maybe it was the Black Widows' plot to catch the information agency's middleman to request money from the agency, using Eriksson as a hostage since he knew a lot of secrets about the agency. Youngho hated extreme terrorist groups but he had a little hope for the Black Widows since he had a relationship with their former group from the past business. He thought that he might be able to negotiate with them. "Mr. Eriksson, I don't think it'd be wise if you directly moved and meet them. I and my comrade can go there alone." "Mr. Lee, I understand your concern but it's something I have to do myself. I need to meet them and evaluate their information." "What if we go there and record the conversations and bring it back to you?" "They'll use a strong jamming device to incapacitate any electronic devices. Even if you succeed in recording their voices, it would be useless if you can't read their faces." Youngho did not understand how Eriksson would judge by looking at their faces. 'Is he a mind reader?' thought Youngho. *** Youngho and Jongil prepared for the coming battles. They hid flip knives and Austrian Glock pistols in their leather shoes. Glock pistols were well-known for being lightweight and its automatic operation, and many secret agents or bodyguards around the world used them. They also put on a flask vest under their shirts to protect their organs and heart. The reason for their tight preparation was that they knew it was going to be a risky mission. Even though Youngho warned Eriksson, he insisted that he should see the rebels in person. Since Youngho and Jongil were hired by him at the moment, there was no choice for them but to comply. The Black Widows now was not the same old Black Widows in the past, they had turned into an extreme violent rebel group. Their purpose of the meeting was not sure, they might really just want some money in exchange for their information due to the lack of funds or they might be plotting to capture Eriksson. Although the rebel group could not be trusted since they could change their mind at any moment, Youngho was curious to find out about the potential terror attack. He also wanted to see if the newly formed Black Widows were a reliable group. It was something he should find out as the agent in charge of the Caucasus regions. If they could succeed Eriksson's mission without any damage, the meeting should have many advantages to them. As they arrived at Karabulak, the rebels waiting for them seated them in the back of their car and blindfolded them. This was done so that they would not find out about their base's location. To Youngho, the situation was not at all frustrating. He could sense where they were headed due to the ring's power. Paying close attention to the outside sounds and the car's driving direction, he tried to memorize everything in his head. The car went around the same area for about thirty minutes and it stopped at the point that was not further than a hundred meters away from the starting point. Because Youngho heard consistent machine sounds of a nearby factory, he could tell where they were. He also realized that the location was not further away from a bus station since he heard the sound of a small bus engine. Everything was possible because the magical ring allowed a supernatural hearing ability for its owner. Now that Youngho had grasped the information about the surroundings of where they were, the tension had gone loose. Since it seemed that they were at somewhere with a high concentration of people, he was relieved to think that the rebels would not have a shootout battle in here. When the blindfolds were removed, they were inside a house. The rebels did not inspect their belongings, it was weird since inspection was a necessary process in negotiations like this. In order to have a safe negotiation, terrorists like them would remove any weapons and electronic devices. There would be only two reasons for not inspecting their bodies: They either trust the group or they knew that the group would not be able to leave the place safely. It was unlikely that the rebels trusted them fully. Youngho decided to act upon the latter reason, he gave signs to Jongil to notify him of the potential danger. They were not supposed to come here. There would be only two outcomes for them, if they could not escape from the rebels any time soon; getting killed and buried underground, or getting captured and becoming hostages. They should still try to talk to the rebels but the future was obvious. Now all they needed to do was to find a way to escape that place.